Leytonstone Lit Up at Night

I went out for a little wander tonight to try to take some new images of Leytonstone all lit up at night – so here we have a local Moroccan cafe, the underground station, the bus station, McDonald’s, and the Walnut Tree pub πŸ™‚

PS The reason I’ve grayscaled them all is that I had my white balance all wrong tonight so they all had a yellow tinge to them – oops!

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Lights


RAF 100 Fly-By: Per Ardua Ad Astra

Today saw the official celebration of the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force (RAF), and as there was to be a special fly-by over Buckingham Palace to mark the occasion and we live directly under the flight path I just had to try to capture the planes as they passed by overhead.

Typically we’ve had wall-to-wall blue skies for weeks now, but earlier today we had grey cloud cover for the first time in ages – although its cleared up spectacularly now the excitement is all over. The fly-by was scheduled for 1pm, so from previous experience I knew the planes would be passing over us just before the hour.

At around 12.45pm I took my camera and wandered out onto Wanstad Flats, a few minutes walk from home, to get the best view I could – and it seemed lots of other people had the same idea. As expected, we soon heard the first engines and saw a formation of helicopters approaching above the treeline. They passed directly above us, these are apparently Pumas and Chinooks followed by smaller Juno and Jupiter helicopters…

Then the older propeller planes flew over with their wonderful deep rumbly engines – a Dakota, followed by a Lancaster flanked by spitfires and Hurricanes, three Prefects and a perfect diamond formation of Tucano T1s…

These were quickly followed by a pair of Shadows, a duo of Hercules bombers, and the huge pregnant-looking belly of the Atlas…

Suddenly it all speeded up into the more modern age with a Globemaster and BAE 146 followed quick as a flash by a single Sentinal, a Voyager, a Rivet Joint and a Sentry with its tell-tale radar dome…

More formation flying followed on in the shape of T1 and T2 Hawks, Tornadoes, and the new Lightnings…

And then over the trees came a spectacular flying ‘100’ created by Typhoon jets, and last but not least an arrow-head of Red Arrows – although sadly before they had their multicoloured red, white and blue tail-smoke stuff turned on.

Still, even without the colour-show of vapour trails it was an excellent, very well choreographed display of skilled formation flying over a busy bustling city that pretty much lasted for a good 10 minutes – and I noticed with a smile that several planes even had ‘RAF 100’ painted on their tails.

And of course, as well as celebration today it is important to commemorate all those brave service personnel over the last century who have died serving their King or Queen and Country: Per ardua ad astra.

PS I keep threatening to buy myself a proper zoom lens, but so far I’ve not got around toΒ  it, so these were all taken hand-held at the zoom end of the basic 14-42 (28-84 equivalent) kit lens of my Panasonic GF6 set to ‘auto’ so I couldn’t screw up the focus or the exposure – I’ve cropped them a bit to get closer, but overall I’m quite pleased with how they’ve turned out πŸ™‚

PPS I figured I might as well use the exacting ‘geometry’ of close formation flying for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week πŸ™‚


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Arch, Dome,or Half Circle

The beautifully arched barrel-vaulted ceiling over the central concourse of Gants Hill Underground Station – Eastbound trains depart from the platform just beyond the columns on the left, Westbound trains on the right.

The space-age looking circular wheel of ceiling lights above Redbridge Underground Station’s circular ticket office.

The softly-curved arch of the ceiling leading to the escalators and way out at Wanstead Underground Station.

All three stations sit one after the other in quick succession on the Central Line of London’s Underground system πŸ™‚

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge